Every year, after the madness of the Christmas season has faded and in preparation for the budget release in March, I start to review our Beverage List. I take into consideration sales figures for the past year and what potential price changes might occur.
I also consider certain vintages, particular styles of wine that have become more popular and anything I might have tasted throughout the year that catches my fancy. The one rule we go by here at One Great George Street is that in addition to the obvious quality that has to shine through in a wine, its uniqueness is also important. In this regard I tend to not stock anything that can be found on the high street.
We will then consult our wine suppliers (we currently have seven) for their suggestions and sample bottles. Then the tasting starts. Myself, the Food & Beverage Manager and Director of One Great George Street lock ourselves away in a room and taste, contemplate and argue our way through the choices we have; trying to come up with the best possible wine for our customers.
Some stand out new drinks this year include ‘The Paddler’, a Gruner Veltliner from Marlborough, New Zealand. Plus we have a Blonde, Amber and Ruby Rye Beer called Notting Hill, from London.
Once this process has happened and the list is written, I hold tastings with the Sales & Events and Catering staff (many of whom hold WSET qualifications) to introduce the new drinks and ensure everybody is able to offer appropriate recommendations to customers if required.